Tirumala chief priest accuses Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu of misusing temple funds, removed

Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams is an independent trust which manages the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple at Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh. 

 Tirumala chief priest accuses Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu of misusing temple funds, removed
Pic courtesy: tirumala.org

Tirupati: A controversy has broken out over the removal of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) chief priest AV Ramana Deekshitulu. The move came days after he alleged that the administrators of the temple were swindling money. The decision to remove Ramana was taken in after the TTD Trust Board passed a resolution on Wednesday to state that all 'mirasi archakas' (hereditary priests) must be retired on reaching the age of 65. 

In his place, a Venugopala Deekshitulu has been hired as head priest at the Lord Venkateswara temple atop Tirumala. 

Ramana has alleged that the Tirupati temple administration misuses the offerings, as per Zee Media reports. He has also levelled allegations against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, saying that that the CM chooses the board members and has diverted approximately Rs 100 crores of temple funds for his political use. 

Ramana has further said that the temple's kitchen, where prasadam was made since thousands of years, was broken and ancient valuable ornaments kept beneath it has been taken away. 

TTD is an independent trust which manages the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple at Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh. It also manages many other temples in Tirupati and all around the world. 

Meanwhile, the TTD board said on Sunday that it would print 3D pictures of all precious ornaments at the temple as a safety measure. "The temple administration, as a safety measure, has decided to create a file of 3D pictures of all the jewels," TTD executive officer, AK Singhal told reporters, PTI reported.

He also said if Agama (Vedic scriptures defining traditions and rituals in a temple) pundits gave their nod, TTD would telecast on its SVBC channel all the rituals including the Suprabhatham, Thomala and other Sevas conducted for the main deity of Lord Venkateswara.

Singhal said he would soon hold talks with the Agama pundits on the proposed live telecast of the rituals performed for the main deity. 

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